Ubuntu 17.10: Return of the GNOMEMay 16, 2018
If you’ve been following the Linux world at all, you know this has been an entire year for spring cleaning. Early in 2017, Canonical stopped work on its homegrown Unity desktop, Mir display server, and its larger vision of “convergence”—a unified interface for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, and desktops.
And now almost exactly six years after Ubuntu first switched from GNOME 2 to the Unity desktop, that has been dropped, too. The distro is back to GNOME, and Canonical recently released Ubuntu 17.10, a major update with some significant changes coming to the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system.
In light of the GNOME switch, this release seems like more of a homecoming than an entirely new voyage. But that said, Ubuntu 17.10 simultaneously feels very much like the start of a new voyage for Ubuntu. The last few Ubuntu desktop releases have been about as exciting as OpenSSH releases—you know you need to update, but beyond that, no one really cares. Sure, there have been a few feature updates with each new numeric increment, perhaps some slightly more up-to-date GNOME and GTK components under the hood. But by and large, Ubuntu’s Unity 7 desktop has been in maintenance mode for several years.